Pointing out Mistakes

As an editor, I spot mistakes regularly – in the morning newspaper, on grocery store signs, on websites, and in brochures. Mistakes are everywhere.

Once I’ve spotted a mistake, I have to decide whether or not to point out the mistake. It is tempting to always point out mistakes, but that can make editors annoying friends.

If the mistake can be easily corrected, then I will point it out. Mistakes on websites are quick and easy to fix. When I saw an issue on a brochure that is going to be used for a year or more, I let the responsible person know so that when he reprinted it, he could correct the mistake.


However, when there was a typo on a flier that would only be relevant for a few weeks, I let it go. The organization was not going to reprint the flier, so it wasn’t worth pointing out the error. But the mistake still bothered me – I can’t un-notice errors.

If there is a process improvement that will prevent future mistakes from occurring, then I do usually point out errors. I might even mention that I am available for contract work!

During a beach vacation, I spotted a glaring error in a message scrawled in the sand. I just couldn’t resist, I had to add the missing letter. My husband still teases me about never turning off my editorial brain.

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  1. The worst is when the mistake is in a slide during the worship service. It really does affect/sidetrack/bother my worship.

    • absolutely – I am so shallow! (Didn’t mean to imply you are shallow – just a joking voice.) I remember the worst one in a worship slide was the word “yoke” as in “take my yoke” – and it was “yolk” – the person probably had never heard the word “yoke”!

  2. Carol Kuykendall

     /  February 22, 2018

    I’ve benefited from your editorial eye! Grateful.
    Wait! Does “benefited” have one “t” or two?

    • I’ve benefited from your mentoring. I looked up benefited, because both seem correct (one “t” or two) – and they are. But benefited is more common in American English. So sometimes it’s not right or wrong. Consistency is key.

  3. Carol Kuykendall

     /  February 22, 2018

    I’ve benefited from your editorial eye! Grateful.


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